There can be no doubt that outrageous acts of atrocity were committed during the September 11, 1973 military coup d’état, which effectively overthrew the democratically elected government of Chile, and replaced it with a military Junta that would eventually be headed by the, then newly appointed, Army Commander-in-chief General Augusto Pinochet. After the military had taken control, the ousted president Salvador Allende was dead, and the military began collecting people they perceived to be dissidents, leftists, or supporters Allende. People were isolated in camps, systematically tortured, and murdered under Pinochet and his military dictatorship. In an effort to establish genocide as a crime, The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide (UNCG) established a working definition for the word “genocide.” According to Article 2, genocide is defined:
any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical description in whole or in part;
d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Within the context of the 1973 military coup d’état in Chile, it is clear that the Junta, headed by Pinochet, detained people without just cause, holding them for sustained periods of time, and subjecting them to poor physical conditions, under severe psychological pressures in order to flush out potential opposition. Therefore it is quite clear that the Junta intentionally inflicted conditions of life that were calculated in a manner to bring about the destruction of the group they perceived as political opponents. There are is also evidence that the Pinochet Junta implemented methods of torture, in order to identify persons that supported Allende, or who belonged to the Popular Unity coalition. Hence it is clear that Pinochet and his men caused serious mental and bodily harm to this group that they perceived as political enemies. Finally, the Junta, headed by Pinochet, certainly murdered supporters of president Allende, including any supporters of the Popular Unity coalition, which had played a significant role in the election of president Allende. Thus it is clear that the Pinochet Junta directly killed members of this group of perceived political enemies. Although there is no clear attempt of the Junta to prevent births, or dislocate children, under the UNCG it is only necessary to prove that the Junta was guilty of any one of these acts with intent to destroy. The Chilean military coup d’état of 1973, committed horrible acts of atrocity including kidnapping, torture, and murder, but because the group affected by the Junta’s actions was a political group, rather than a...